The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) expects to decide next year whether to file criminal charges regarding its bribery investigation into Rolls-Royce.
Its investigation into the company is focusing on individuals after Rolls-Royce paid £497M plus SFO costs of £13M to settle bribery allegations under a deferred prosecution agreement.
SFO Director David Green is expecting a decision early next year; probably before he steps down in April.
The SFO has also said it expects a 2018 announcement on whether to prosecute GSK. The SFO started an investigation in 2014 into GSK and its subsidiaries over its alleged bribing of doctors in China. Britain's biggest drug manufacturer has already been fined $452M by the Chinese authorities.
Aziz Rahman, founder of Rahman Ravelli, said both cases indicate the potentially huge costs of bribery.
He added: “If we consider the amount that GSK has already had to pay in China and what Rolls-Royce was ordered to pay under its DPA, the fact that such payments have not made the problem go away shows just how damaging bribery can be.
“The fact that GSK could still be prosecuted here and that people who worked for Rolls-Royce may also face charges underlines the huge price that has to be paid if bribery is uncovered. This is a price that involves finances, reputational damage and, very often, a harmful effect on a company’s ability to function properly.
“Taking the time and effort to devise procedures that prevent bribery is a much more cost-effective, long-term approach.’’
Read our article: THE HUGE COSTS OF BRIBERY